Well...school is back in session, kids are back into routine, teachers are busy planning, and parents are eagerly awaiting to find out how their child is doing. Many schools have already had a "back-to-school" BBQ or a "meet the teacher" night, but these events are meant to be very informal and are not a time to ask specific questions about YOUR child.
Very soon, teachers will be preparing report cards (or progress reports) and scheduling meetings with parents to discuss specific areas of concern or provide a more detailed picture of how each child is doing in class. But parents are only given a short amount of time to cover each student. How do you make the most of it?
Here is a list of questions you should be asking the teacher to maximize your time together:
For parents to share with the teacher:
- Any changes in the home or family situation that might affect your child (i.e.: behaviour or achievement)
- Whether your child is experiencing difficulties at school (i.e.: academic or social)
For parents to ask about the school:
- How is the school working to keep students on track and/or raise achievement?
- How can I stay aware of what my child’s assignments are and how my child is doing in class?
- [In the fall:] What are students expected to master by the end of the year? How will you be gauging my child’s progress toward these goals?
- If my child is falling behind, how will I be notified?
For Parents to ask about THEIR child:
- What are my child’s academic strengths? What areas need improvement?
- What is my child’s current achievement level and how does it compare with other students in the same age group?
- What specific things can I do to support my child and reinforce classroom lessons at home?
- How do you view my child’s emotional and social skills?
- With whom does my child socialize? How does my child relate to peers and adults?
- How does my child do with working in groups and working independently?
- Does my child exhibit a good attitude toward learning? Does my child make a good effort on assignments and turn in completed assignments?
- Does my child stay on task well or need frequent reminders? Has my child been developing good work habits?
- Does my child participate in class? Does my child behave in class?
- How much time should my child be spending on homework each night?
- Have you noticed any issues that need to be addressed or interests to be encouraged?
Good luck to all the parents with their parent/teacher conferences! Hopefully these questions help you, your child, and his/her teacher make the most of this school year.Source: School Family